I have a new view.
Last weekend our oldest son installed the first of many windows being replaced in our 40+ year-old home. He chipped away the stucco and cut through the metal flange surrounding the existing window and popped out that single-pane beauty.
Periodically I dropped by the hole in the wall to serve him coffee and observe the process, as I am, after all, inherently curious. “So what are you doing now?” I inquired as he meticulously tacked thin strips of wood around the exterior. “I’m furring in the space,” he replied, “a technique that creates a flush surface for the new unit to sit up against.”
On a later pass-by I observed a planer slicing paper-thin curls of wood off the inside of the frame to allow the new window to fit properly, no small task in a home that has settled and been shaken over the years by West Coast tremors.
I am thankful for our son’s attention to detail ensuring this custom-made window was plumb and square. If not leveled, the window won’t open properly or maybe at all. In construction, it’s quality workmanship. In coaching, it reminds me of reframing.
Shifting one’s perspective by even one degree can give a completely different look or interpretation of a situation.
I sat at a traffic light one day and observed a car not slowing as the lights changed, his to red, mine to green. The driver proceeded through the intersection seemingly oblivious to the dangerous choice he just made. My blood pressure rose instantly as I considered the reckless insensitivity to the well-being of self and others—namely me, if I’m honest.
In that next instant I recognized the driver. His wife had died just three days prior and within five seconds I went from anger to compassion, from frustration to concern. Nothing about the circumstances of his running a red light had changed, but my feelings certainly had. All it took was the addition of one small piece of information.
What questions can I ask to gain insight? Is there another way I could see this? Is emotion clouding my vision? God, what do you want me to notice?
And so I am learning when life makes little sense or my direction seems blurred to focus less on circumstances or seeking answers and look up to the Lord for a gift of perspective that can change everything.
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst